Video games industry adapts as 20 more filesharing sites are blocked by courts

By Alasdair Crews

As the music industry welcomes a court ordered block of filesharing sites, the games industry is taking their own measures to deal with the problem.

The British Phonographic Industry have welcomed a court order for all internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK to block access to more than 20 filesharing sites.

The chief executive of the BPI, Geoff Taylor, stated that they felt that the block, along with those already in place for other sites will “significantly reduce” the use of the sites in the UK.

The other major entertainment industry in the UK, the video games industry, is taking a different approach.

A recent survey by Tiga, the trade industry body for video games, stated that although almost 60 percent of their members see piracy as a problem, only 10 percent see cracking down on filesharing sites as the best option.

Instead, the majority think that “new business models” are the way forward.  The “free-to-play” model – also known as F2P – where players can play a base game for free and pay money to acquire new items and progress quicker, has become the model of choice for developers, especially on mobile devices.

A look at the statistics suggest that this model is fruitful for developers – EA Games announced yesterday that their premier F2P mobile title – “The Simpsons Tapped Out” – has generated more than $100 million in revenue since it’s launch in 2012.  Estimates given this month state that “Candy Crush Saga”, made by King Games, earns over $800,000 daily.

Mobile devices are not the only place where this model has been successful.  Valve Corporation made their popular PC game “Team Fortress 2” game free-to-play in 2011 and they estimated that their gross from the game has been “12 times more” than if the game remained a full-priced purchase.

However, not all developers are taking this action.  The CEO of Deep Silver, Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, who make the popular “Saint’s Row” series, admit that piracy is generally “ignored” in their business plan and that they just, “live with it [as it has] been part of our business for decades.”

EA Games' "The Simpsons Tapped Out" has grossed $100 million in revenue since it's launch
EA Games’ “The Simpsons Tapped Out” has grossed $100 million in revenue since it’s launch